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~*~

When Matthew caught up to his companions, the knight was standing above a collapsed Nadia. Daniel knelt before her, his fingers probing about her highness' neck with a practiced efficiency.

"She's alive." He confirmed.

The knight heaved her off the ground and carefully made his way clear of the rubble that surrounded them.

Matthew's mind was both as chaotic and as calm as the dust that clouded the air. Red rays of sunlight pierced the dust-cloud from above, giving it an eerie and yet alluring sparkle.

"Princess..." Matthew started but his voice faltered. Questions competed to be voiced but the grim expressions everyone held were all the answers he would receive. Shock riddled their faces and left uncertain scowls drawn there.

Not Daniel nor the knight questioned how he was even alive when he finally joined them, catching a limping Daniel who'd nearly fallen when his foot landed on a rather pointed pebble.

With a dust-clad princess draped across sir Simon's arms, Daniel and Matthew walking shoulder to shoulder in mutual support, the company retreated further into the mountain pass.

No words were exchanged for a while as they walked. A few grunts of pain prompting them to change their pace was about all the talking they did.

A notable sigh of relief washed across the entire group when the silence was suddenly and finally donned with bird chirps and small insects began to dart about their path once more. None had noticed their earlier disappearance until now.

Daniel let out a "Hmpff" as they walked past ethereal waterfalls that cascaded down at them from the cliff's indistinguishable heights, most turning into mists before they could connect with the streams below.

Rainbows colored the skies above them and the wet surfaces of the cliffs shone a bright crimson.

"If I had not traveled this path before I would have thought myself in heaven." Daniel finally let out through labored breaths.

"Don't talk, you'll find yourself there if you keep at it." Matthew warned, pointing at the blood that had trickled out of Daniel's mouth along with his words.

"Do not worry friend, I am quite fine. You will find I am not as fragile as I appear."

The knight flinched at the statement. He brushed a cautious look over Daniel, lingering on his gauntleted hands before setting his eyes on the path once more.

Matthew briefly wondered what had transpired between the two before his mind was engulfed in its perpetual chaos once more.

Fate, a dragon and a stone golem... His head spun and his calf burned causing him to buckle with his next step.

"Are you alright there?" Daniel asked, wiping the blood with his free hand and tightening his grip on the feline with the other.

Matthew nodded, unable to hide the effort it took nor the sweat that soaked his entire body.

Dust in the air, shattered boulders littering the ground, an unconscious Nadia. Had there really been...

The cliffs came to an abrupt halt, leaving the path to snake its way out of the mountains and into the surrounding wilderness.

Two large statues of the Northern lady marked the exit and flanked the path like beckoning merchants. They stood, large enough for Matthew to struggle in trying to make out the delicate features on the statue's face. The curves on her sultry body were carved draped in thin fabric. A large bowl rested upon her shoulders and with one hand she beckoned to those who would enter the mountain.

The travelers did not spare the magnificent creations time to gawk. None would have even been perturbed had the statues began to move.

A stone owl hooted from deep within the bushes, cutting its call abruptly at the sound of their footsteps. Darkness fell ever so slowly, revealing a light that shone like a beacon a distance ahead of them.

For a fleeting moment, everything was cleared off their minds. Questions about mythical creatures and cosmic visions could wait. The prospect of a warm meal and soft bed to sleep on nearly washed all their worries away.

But each of them knew that those would only serve as temporary distractions. An encounter with forces such as they had met, rarely ended with a warm meal and a soft bed.

~*~

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A note from Maxwell Dark

The chapter is finally here!! Yay! Finally! I do hope you enjoyed it. if you did, do leave a rating and a comment. next chapter coming soon...


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About the author

Maxwell Dark

  • South Africa
  • Mr

Bio: *Published Author: English Alive 50, a National Magazine. Phuluso-My story (A little token from when I was in high-school, good were those days.)

*Editor of The Lost Redeemer by @DavidMusk (Currently editing this. Check it out, it is Epic!)

Maxwell Dark is a pretty great fella. If he is not writing wholesome fantasy novels or poems, then he can be found reading wholesome fantasy novels and poems. Not that he does not have a life mind you. He does occasionally do the socializing and has a few he calls friends.
Now, back to the writing. Here are some of the stories that he'll be sharing on here. He would really appreciate you checking them out and perhaps chatting with him through comments or personal messages. He will make it well worth your time.

Some books to watch out for by Maxwell Dark.

*The Blades Of Fate Trilogy
- King of Solace (ongoing, also available on Wattpad)
-King of War (Coming soon)
-Demon King
*Dark Reviews (Only on Wattpad)
*Lillian and the Seeds Of Hope (A Blades of Fate prequel)
*Beauty In Darkness
*Mascara Tears (A Romance, Crime Thriller)
*A dreamer's Journey (A Short story Collection, featuring: Phuluso- my story)
*A Broken Man's Ballads (A poetry collection)

Do consider donating to my Patreon to keep my works free! Link can be found on my fiction.

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